News Archive

Follow NGTS on twitter @NextGenTransits

Mar 2022: NGTS searches for more exoplanets with citizen scientists! Planet Hunters NGTS launched in October 2021 allowing members of the public to join our search for more exoplanets. Zooniverse volunteers classify phase-folded light curves according to the shape of any transits (U or V) and whether there is stellar variability or large data gaps in the images presented. Since launch, over 2.6 million classifications have been made by over 7000 volunteers on archival and fresh NGTS data! The volunteers also vet the most promising light curves with secondary eclipse and odd/even transit checks to spot any eclipsing binaries. The project has already detected previously known planets such as NGTS-5b (right) and the team continues to sift the data to find anything missed by the NGTS eyeballing team. Follow the progress @PH_NGTS.
Jun 2021: NGTS detects transit timing variations for 542-day orbital period planet. Of the eleven observatories around the world trying to detect the transit of HIP 41378f, only NGTS was successful. This extraordinary transiting planet has an extremely low density and an orbital period of 542 days. The NGTS transit is only the third to be detected, and the first detected from the ground. It reveals a transit time two hours earlier than expected, most likely due to the gravitational attraction of other planets in the system. Future observations will help establish the total number of planets and their masses. Read the full journal article.
Jan 2021: Discovery of a six-planet system with a chain of resonant orbits. TOI-178 is a remarkably close-packed plantary system, with a wide range of planet densities, in which five of the planets are in chain of mean-motion resonances. Initially identified by TESS, NGTS played a crucial role in unraveling the orbital periods of the planets, ruling out one proposed planet, and confirming two others. The system places important constraints on the formation of super-Earths and mini-Neptunes.Read the Warwick press release and the full journal article.
26 Sep 2020: NGTS resumes operations after COVID-19 shutdown. Along with the rest of the ESO Paranal Obseravtory, NGTS has been closed since March due to COVID-19 restrictions. Thanks to the robotic nature of the NGTS telescopes, we are able to resume operations now that ESO is in a position to provide emergency cover for the facility. Read the ESO annoucement of minimal science operations at Paranal.
Jul 2020: NGTS-11b is one of the coolest gas giants known. It is the first exoplanet to be confirmed after being initially identified as a single-transit event in TESS data. After intensive monitoring for 79 nights, NGTS recovered a second transit, allowing the orbital period of 35 days to be determined. NGTS-11b has a mass and radius similar to Saturn, and an equilibrium temperature of only 435 K. Read the Warwick press release and the full journal article.
Jul 2020: Second NGTS public data release (NGTS DR2). The data release includes 110 billion photometric measurements of more than six hundred thousand stars. It is a total of 4 TB of data. Read the ESO Announcement including the release notes.
Jul 2020: Discovery of an exposed planetary core. Published in Nature, NGTS confirmed the TESS detection of transits of TOI-849b, a dense planetary core found deep in the Neptunian desert. The NGTS light curve was also crucial for defining the shape of the transit, which was blurred by the 30 min cadence of the TESS full-frame data. Read the Warwick press release, the full preprint or the original Nature article. Image credit: University of Warwick/Mark Garlick.
Feb 2020: NGTS-10b is the shortest-period hot Jupiter yet discovered. NGTS-10b is a hot Jupiter that orbits its host star in just 18 hours. This is the shortest year of any known giant planet. Its extreme proximity to its parent star is expected to drive intense tidal interactions that will decay its orbit, forcing the planet to spiral ever closer. It is likely that we have caught NGTS-10b shortly before it spirals into its star and is lost forever. Read the Warwick Press Release and the full journal article.
Jun 2019: NGTS-7Ab is an ultra-short period transiting brown dwarf. The orbital period is only 16 hours, and the stars are so close that the brown dwarf has tidally spun-up its young M dwarf host star. Magnetic braking should be decaying the orbit, meaning the stars are likely to merge within a few million years. Read the full paper on arXiv.
May 2019: NGTS discovery of the 'Forbidden Planet' in the Neptunian Desert. NGTS-4b is sub-Neptune sized planet only three times the size of the Earth. The transit is by far the shallowest ever discovered from the ground, only 0.13% deep. The planet is situated very close to it K-type host star, in a region where Neptune-sized planets are thought to be photoevaporated by the high-energy emission of the star. Read the Warwick Press Release and the full journal article. Image credit: University of Warwick/Mark Garlick.
Apr 2019: Giant flare detected from coolest star seen to exhbit a white-light flare. The star has a temperature of only 2000K (an L2.5 dwarf) and it is only a tenth the size of the Sun. During the flare it suddenly became ten thousand times brighter than normal, with an energy ten times greater than the largest flare ever seen on the Sun. Read the Warwick Press Release and the full journal article.
Nov 2018: First NGTS public data release (NGTS DR1). The data release includes 32 billion photometric measurements of more than two hundred thousand stars. It is a total of 1.7 TB of data. Read the ESO Announcement including the release notes.
Oct 2017: NGTS has found its first planet, and its a Monster! NGTS-1b is a rare Jupiter-sized exoplanet found orbiting a small M-dwarf host star. The red sensitivity and high precision of the NGTS telescopes enabled this doscovery, which challenges theories of planet formation that link the maximum mass of a planet with the mass its host star and its associated protoplanetary disc. Read the Warwick Press Release and the full journal article. Image credit: University of Warwick/Mark Garlick.
Apr 2016: NGTS Exoplanet survey begins. Commissioning of the NGTS facility is complete and routine survey observations began this month. Image credit: G. Lambert.
Jan 2015: First light at Paranal!
Read the ESO Press Release
including some fantastic pictures, videos and an ESO Podcast. Image credit: G. Lambert.
Feb 2014: Construction of NGTS begins at Paranal. Construction began in January, with the concrete base and telescope piers completed in February. The control room/container building can be seen to the right, with the ESO Very Large Telescope in the background. Image credit: G. Lambert.